Monday, June 30, 2014

One Year In... (Blogiversary and Giveaway!!)

Happy Blogiversary to me!

I can't believe that I've been writing and sharing this little blog with you for a whole year!

I'm so, so, so appreciative to all of you who regularly check out what's going on around here.  Thank you so much for all of the support, kind comments, and inspiration that you share!  

To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to a little recap of the most popular posts of this last year...

Most popular posts...
I love looking back at what posts are the most popular.  It's always such a mystery to me why some posts get a ton of views, while other (often better) posts don't. I mean, why would September's shopping recap make the top ten?! It's so weird. At least it gives me something to get excited about. To be honest, the anticipation of whether a certain topic will take off is one of my fav things about blogging!

Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Goodwill Hunting

App Crack: Waterlogue

Console Table Styling Options

27 Plates

Painting Stripes Tutorial

Spring Wreath Roundup

16 Minute Dinner

Shopping Recap: September 2013

6 Simple Rules for Painting Walls

Oh yeah...and to thank you all for reading, I'm offering a blogiversary giveaway of some of my favorite things!

The House in the Heights blogiversay prize pack includes:

- A Starbucks Scales Mug, as featured in the post DIY Sharpie Mug (whether or not you want to sharpie it is totally up to you!)

-Two wood-burned spoons, as featured in this post.

- A nylon pouch from Freshline, which is one of my favorite Etsy stores.

-A one-year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Pretty fun, right?!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below (please be patient, it may take a moment to load).  The giveaway will run until midnight on July 8th, and the winner will be contacted by email.  Good luck!!

Here's to another year of house projects and progress!!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Favs 46

Happy Friday!

Since I'm writing this from a hotel room on my tablet, Friday Favs will be short and sweet this week. But....oh how sweet these fav moments of the week are!!

Fav #1
My nieces and nephew are here!!! They were born last night, and are doing great! Huge shout out to my amazing sister-in-law for carrying these three for almost 35 weeks! 

She's basically a rock star.

Not my actual nieces and nephew. Imagine these three, but even cuter, and now you're just coming close to knowing how adorable they are.

Fav #2
My egg retrieval is today! At my last ultrasound, we noticed that one of my follicles is shaped like a heart! I love it. Between the heart follicle and the safe arrival of the triplets yesterday, I'm feeling lucky!!

This IS my actual follicle. Sorry for the terrible pic, I'm too tired to figure out how to crop it on my tablet.

What an exciting week! Hope you have a great weekend!!!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Let's Do This.

Hey guys!  I'm contributing some fun, patriotic mason jar vases over at Sweet Haute today!  Click here to check them out!

Confession:  I've been holding out on you guys a little bit.   There's been some pretty exciting stuff going on around here.

Stuff that is getting in the way of getting projects and posts done...but exciting nonetheless!

You see, Mr. M. and I are finally, finally, finally trying in-vitro fertilization.
Ahh!!! So excited. So much anxiety.

 Chandler sums it up pretty well...

Chandler I'm so excited I may vomit photo tumblr_mb1q1zLaYv1r2xf1u.gif

It's been such a journey of planning, saving, considering other options, hoping the problem would work itself out on its own (aka denial) to get here.  But here we are.

So, for those of you who are interested in the process, here's what's been going on!  For the past 12 days, I've been taking meds to stimulate my ovaries and  grow follicles (which contain eggs).  During this time, I've been monitored through blood work and ultrasound at my doctor's office almost everyday.   Tonight, I'll be giving myself a trigger shot that will induce ovulation, and on Friday we'll travel to Maryland for the eggs to be retrieved from my body and kept in the lab to (hopefully) develop into embryos.  After a few days of being monitored and cared for in the lab, the viable embryos will be transferred back to me, where hopefully they will develop into a healthy pregnancy, or frozen for us to use later.

I know that some of you probably think that I'm crazy for sharing our IVF journey in a such a public way.  Why would I talk so publicly about such a private matter?  Why would I risk sharing this with all of you, knowing that this process may very well end in disappointment and heartache?

For me, the simplest answer is that I feel compelled to help others who have, are, or will experience infertility.  If I can enlighten others to the struggle or provide knowledge or support to someone else who is struggling, then this will have meant something.

 I guess the way I've coped with this situation is by searching for the meaning of it and choosing to focus on the potential for positive.

Not that I'm always successful in that pursuit.  I'll be honest--some days, my thoughts sound a little more like this...

Just keeping it real.    

Why is all of this getting in the way of projects and posting, you ask??  Well-- it's partly because I spend a chunk of each day traveling to and from the doctor's office and jabbing multiple needles into my thighs, but mostly it's because the drugs make me so. freaking. tired.  At this point, staying awake until 9 o'clock is a major victory. 

But--with any luck, I'll need to start getting used to the idea of being tired and sleep-deprived.  That is the goal, right?!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favs 45

Happy Friday!  I'm enjoying a three day weekend before my very last day of work before summer break.  I will be one happy girl come Monday afternoon!  

This week's favs are all about the amazing clearance finds to be had at Target right now.  The clearance stock is so good that I visited not one, but two Targets this week!  Here are some of my fav finds...

Fav #1
The fab Threshold kilim poufs are 50% off  in stores right now!  So far, I've held out....but I'm dreaming of two underneath the console table in our living room.  You know, because I really need extra seating in there.....sounds convincing, right?!  

Fav #2
The long search for a home for Notorious F.I.G. ended the moment I laid eyes on this cool  Threshold color blocked basket that it currently on clearance.  You can find it here, but I got an even better deal in the store, so you might want to check that out first!

Love it!!

Fav #3
One final fab clearance find are these great lampshades that are the perfect topper to those lucite lamps that I picked up at Goodwill ages ago  These shades were on clearance in the store, plus you can save an additional 15% off all lighting using the Cartwheel app right now.  Clearance plus an additional 15% off?  Can't pass that up!

Have you been to Target lately?!  Am I missing out on any other great deals?  I'll be near a third one today.....I'm not sure I'll be able to resist taking a quick peek to see if that store's clearance section is as rich as the other ones have been lately!

I might also be passing by a Homegoods in my travels today....but that's a whole 'nother story :)

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Painted Mason Jar Vases

What's up?!  Last week I showed you the fun distressed coral mason jar vases that we used in the centerpieces at a bridal shower, so today I thought I'd share the details on how these beauties came to be.

Not that there are many details to tell, because the beauty of this project is that it could not be more simple.
(In my head, I emphasized that exactly like Chandler Bing.)

I started with a quart-sized mason jar, and brushed paint 3 coats of chalk paint on the outside of the jar, allowing the paint to dry completely between coats.  I used American Paint Company's chalk paint in Coral Reef.  I tried using both a foam brush and a standard paintbrush, and found that both left brush marks on the jar.  In the end, I decided that the brush strokes simply added to the vases' charm and decided to be OK with them.

Once the jars had dried for 24 hours, I took a sanding block and distressed them by rubbing the sandpaper over the raised parts.  This rubbed the paint from the letters, numbers and a few other areas on the jar, leaving them looking worn, distressed and awesome.  

Left unsealed, chalk paint has a tendency to look....well, chalky.  I wasn't sure if that was the look that I was going for, so I decided to try out a few finishes in order to figure out which one looked best.  I sprayed one vase with polycrylic, waxed one with Country Chic Paint's Gold Wax, and left the third natural.  

Ultimately, I decided that I liked the paler color of the natural jar the best.  The downside is that the paint wears a bit when handled, but I didn't find that to be a problem.  

They looked so cute at the shower.....

....and have added fun, fresh touches around our house!  

In fact, I'm feeling a little painted mason jar obsessed!  I have a few more variations in mind, and can't wait to see how they turn out!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friday Favs 44

Happy Friday!!  
Is anyone else out there dying for some sunshine?!  We haven't seen the sun in days....luckily, this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous.  I'm hoping for some serious pool time.

Friday Favs has been on hiatus for a few weeks, so I'm thrilled to be back to share some awesome things that went down this week!

Fav #1
Amazon Prime Music.  I am SO excited that Amazon has added ad-free music streaming to its Prime Membership.  Let's face it-- I'm already a huge fan of Amazon Prime for it's free 2 day shipping, Kindle lending library and Amazon Instant Video, so offering me free ready-made playlists is just a huge bonus on the yearly fee I'm already going to pay anyway.  Will it replace my love of Pandora?  Probably not, but the available playlists are fun and it's another great perk of a service that I already love. My favorite playlists so far?  80's One Hit Wonders, 50 Great 90's Alternative Songs and 90's R&B for Girls Night (Un-Break My Heart is playing as I type).  Glory days, people.  Want to try a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime?  Check it out here.

Fav #2
Yuengling Black and Tan Ice Cream. Not sure I saw this one coming. I mean, obviously their beer is pretty great too, but this ice cream is blowing my mind.  And I'm not even really an ice cream girl!  Chocolate swirled with salted caramel ice cream.  I can't buy another carton of it because I can't stay away from it once it's in the house.  Can't. Do. It......Ok, maybe one more ;)

Fav #3
Orange Is the New Black Season 2 is finally available on Netflix!  I wanted to save it for my summer vaca, and I'm trying to pace myself, but I'm tearing through it.  Totally good.  Totally not for the faint of heart.

Fav #4
Check out the fab #VowVoxBox that Influenster sent me!  I'm so excited to try out the Olay Regenerist moisturizer and that nail polish!  I'll be sure to give you a full review!

Have an amazing weekend!

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Monday, June 9, 2014

50 Shades of Coral

I"m baaack!

After taking an impromptu blogging break, I'm excited to be back and ready to share what's been going on in my absence!  I never really planned to take a whole week or so off, but at a busy time of year---it was just what I needed.  

I am normally much more of a homebody than a social butterfly, but these last few weeks have been packed full of fun stuff.  Graduation, end-of-school-year luncheons and picnics, bridal showers, retirement and bachelorette parties---craziness.  But one of the most special events was the bridal shower that we put together for one of my besties this weekend. 

Let me tell you, working with the other girls in the bridal party was like working with the Bridal Shower Dream Team.  They had such great ideas!  For example, the bride is learning to cook, so we included a cute recipe card with each invitation and asked each guest to come to the shower with a recipe to share with the bride. So smart!

Anyway, we held the shower on the patio of a local winery, and decided to create simple, rustic decor in shades of coral. We achieved our goal by combining a lot of natural wood, burlap, and chalkboard elements with various shades of coral and white.

As you can see, we hung tissue paper poms from the ceiling....

....and created simple centerpieces using three sizes of mason jars.  The bride's dad was sweet enough to cut us some wood slices from a tree on their property to bring it all together.

We used painted and distressed quart-sized mason jars as pretty vases for white hydrangeas, and wrapped burlap and lace ribbon around pint jars used to hold a candle.  A twine bow dressed up the half-pint jars and was a perfectly simple pairing for the variegated malted milk balls inside.

We kept with a simple approach for our food choices as well, opting to serve tea sandwiches, pasta salad and Caprese skewers alongside fresh fruit and veggies.  And wine of course :)

Always wine.

Glass milk bottles dressed up with coral baker's twine and some paper straws made a pretty drink display....

....and a candy buffet in shades of coral offered a sweet finish to the meal!  

One the girls in the bridal party had the great idea for a joint gift from all of us. We each bought a bottle of wine for one of the various 'firsts' in a marriage....first fight, first Christmas, first anniversary, and so on...and put them together in a fun little basket.  Each 'first' came with a cute little poem detailing the occasion it should be saved for.

Pinterest in action.  It was quite a hit!

The gift table was the perfect spot for our Bride to Be banner (Etsy), as well as baskets to hold cards and the recipe cards. 

It was such a wonderful day to celebrate an amazing friend. 

Have a fab week!!
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May '14 Recap

June is finally here!  Summer is upon us, and thanks to last weekend's beach trip, I already have a tan!  
The trip had a lot of great moments, but here is one of the best...

Coffee and the ocean.  Awesome.

May was a pretty light month around here.  With end-of-school-year activities and some other fun stuff that has been going on lately, I've been struggling to find the time to write.  

No worries.  Blogging will be my full time job for a few glorious weeks while I'm on summer vacation.  I have a few project ideas in mind, and I can't wait to show them to you!

In case you missed a post, here's what went down in May...

-I shared some of the gorgeous spaces from my field trip to Washington D.C.

-Made some amazing Coconut Cream Cupcakes.

-Spilled the secret on where to find a Fiddle-Leaf Fig for less than 17 bucks.

-And made an anchor pallet sign.

Hopefully I'll have a little more to show you in June!
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